“Lord, I want it gone”, I had said. For years the thorn had pained me sore
And I insisted to God, “I don’t want this thorn anymore.”
There was a heavy…holy silence. I’d hardly expected an affirmative reply.
Yet, little did I know God’s working was set in motion to relieve my plight.
It’s blessed remembering the many things He miraculously wrought from that day.
I didn’t know or really care how, just that He’d move it from my way.
At times my impatience would surface. I’d fret for the burden I’d borne.
“My child”, the Lord spoke so kindly. “Your foolishness embedded the thorn.”
Fearfully I began to understand what God would have me know,
But when He removed the tenacious thing, there remained a gaping hole.
“Oh Lord”, I cried, “How can I survive such a terrible wound that’s made?”
“My child there is healing and comfort in my Word—the balm of Gilead.”
Numbed by agony and desperate need to have the yawning hole filled in,
The Word grew sweeter to my heart, and more real than it had ever been.
The Lord and I had fellowship—satisfying as never before.
It was worth the pain and agony made by the thorn and gaping hole.
One day I remembered the oft request and brought it timidly again to His throne.
He bade me look on the dreaded thing. The wound of the thorn was gone. ~Edna Holmes
This poem was written by a dear friend of mine. I asked her if I could use it because I believe many of us have been or are tormented by the thorns in our hearts. Thorns are those traumatic, painful experiences that crash into our lives and tear into our hearts. They can be so many things: abuse, rape, betrayal, slander, war, sudden loss of a loved one, divorce, or an unlimited number of other tormenting experiences.
We wonder how our Lord could allow such pain to remain and cannot imagine how it could bring good into our lives. Yet, just as my friend expressed in her poem, it was allowed for a divine purpose: to draw us closer to His side, and to help us discover the sweet, healing power of His Word.
A balm is an ointment or oil used to sooth and to heal. In our own strength we cannot heal the wound the thorn has mad. If we shift our focus to Jesus, and allow His Word to work in our hearts and minds, healing will take place. However, we must be willing to let go of the thorn.
Sometimes, we hang on to those traumatic experiences, rerunning them over in our minds, without realizing we are pushing the thorn in deeper and hindering the healing we desperately need. Forgiveness is required. If we choose to forgive, to turn loose of the thorn and to give it to Jesus, healing can begin. We forgive because He first forgave us.
“The Lord is nigh unto them that are o a broken heat; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all” (Psalms 34:18-19).